6 March 2021
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1098 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1090 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Prensa Latina News Agency, February 5, 2020

Question: What is your opinion of the new US punitive measures to toughen the embargo against Cuba that has been in place for almost 60 years?

Sergey Lavrov: We can see that US attempts to reformat the Latin American region in line with its geopolitical interests aim to overthrow the “undesirable regimes” in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. The archaic Monroe Doctrine serves as the ideological foundation. In the run-up to the presidential election, the White House continues to ratchet up sanctions against those states which preserve their national independence, sovereignty and identity. This openly anti-human policy runs counter to the generally accepted principles of international law, including the UN Charter.

An overwhelming majority of members of the international community condemn and reject lifting the waiver on Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, the ban on chartered and regular flights to all Cuban airports, except the Havana Airport, restrictions against transport companies cooperating with the island, numerous visa and financial restrictions and the campaign against Cuban doctors. The November 7, 2019 vote on the anti-blockade resolution at the UN General Assembly vividly confirms this.

I repeat: Washington’s sanctions against Havana prove that, in an effort to stifle the Cuban economy, the United States deliberately violates human rights, and ordinary people always suffer, above all.

We see the introduction of additional restrictive measures as a manifestation of Washington’s inability to break the will of the Cuban nation and to impose its own opinion and values. We emphatically reject these steps and stand in solidarity with our Cuban friends. We insistently call for the complete repeal of the financial and economic embargo, so as to ensure the country’s full-fledged socioeconomic development, implement the principle of the sovereign equality of states and guarantee the legitimate rights of the Cuban nation.

Question: Cuba and Russia are marking 60 years since resuming diplomatic relations. What can you tell us about the current state of political, economic and cultural cooperation between our countries in the run-up to the anniversary?

Sergey Lavrov: This year on May 8, we are marking the 60th anniversary of resuming diplomatic relations. This is an impressive span of time. We have achieved significant progress over these 60 years.

Today, Cuba is Russia’s priority partner in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our multidimensional collaboration, based on strong traditions of friendship and cooperation, and objective commonality of interests, is looking towards the future. Our mutual determination for strengthening the Russian-Cuban strategic partnership has been confirmed in the course of regular high-level and top-level contacts.

The history of our bilateral relations is inseparable from the name of Fidel Castro, the leader and creator of the Cuban Revolution, and genuine leader of the persevering and tenacious people of Freedom Island. His was a personality of global scale, without exaggeration. We specifically developed an itinerary that will honour the Comandante’s memory, including a visit to Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, where other fighters for Cuba’s independence also rest in peace. This has great significance for me because in the eyes of many generations of Russians Fidel remains an example of true service to one’s country and people.

It is symbolic that President of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez will visit Russia to attend the events marking the 75th anniversary of defeating Nazism. We see this as further confirmation of the brotherly ties connecting our nations.

Our bilateral and practical cooperation has many dimensions. Along with our Cuban friends, we continue to build a model for long-term mutually beneficial cooperation that is not affected by external conditions and focuses, among other things, on ensuring Cuba’s energy and food security. We appreciate the fact that Cuba’s leaders have assigned Russia a special role in modernising Cuba’s national economy and upgrading the country’s socioeconomic development model. 

This direction was once again confirmed during the 17th meeting of the Russia-Cuba Intergovernmental Commission in September 2019 in Moscow. We are working on large joint projects in energy and metal production, transport infrastructure, developing IT, communications and space technologies, biopharmaceutics and biotechnology. Russia supplies railway and vehicle equipment. We are building a maintenance base for this as well.

Russia and Cuba are expanding cultural and humanitarian links, including education exchanges. Our country is a regular participant in the Havana International Book Fair, theatre and film festivals. Every alternate year Moscow and Havana host the weeks of Cuban and Russian cinema, respectively.

Every year, 100 Cuban students come to Russia to learn the Russian language, study Russian literature, and many other things. Cuba has the Pushkin Institute, a Russian language learning and testing centre at the University of Havana. Russian is taught as an optional class in two secondary schools in Havana.

Together, we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Cuban capital. Havana also hosted St Petersburg Days. The golden dome of the National Capitol in Havana is once again showcasing its shining beauty after a renovation by Russian experts. 

Russia and Cuba closely coordinate foreign policies. This coordination is based on adherence to the unshakable principles of international law, including respect for sovereign equality between states and non-intervention in their internal affairs.

We are optimistic about the future of Russian-Cuban relations which we value very much. We know that our Cuban friends approach these relations in a similar fashion.

Question: Russia believes the development of integration processes in Latin America to be very important. However, recently we have seen a trend towards restraining the activities or even eliminating such regional organisations as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). What do you think about this?

Sergey Lavrov: I agree that today the integration processes in Latin America are in a difficult phase. We can see a certain imbalance in regional integration building, not without interference from the outside. This is also true for UNASUR, because some of its members left to establish an alternative organisation, the Forum for the Progress and Development of South America (PROSUR). We proceed from the fact that the Latin Americans must be the ones to choose the most suitable forms of regional cooperation.

Russia is ready to develop mutually beneficial cooperation with all regional integration organisations. We have always spoken in favour of a united and politically and economically stable Latin America: this is the only way for the region to become a pillar of the emerging multipolar world. In addition, the high degree of unity and mutual understanding, and the ability to find collective answers to the topical challenges we face today have always distinguished Latin Americans.

We see the potential of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which we regard as a unique regional platform promoting a unifying agenda based on non-confrontation. We hope that with the help of Mexico, which is chairing CELAC, the Latin Americans will be able to overcome their internal differences based on the working programme adopted in Mexico City in January 2020. After CELAC overcomes these differences, we would be able to resume the Russia – CELAC dialogue mechanisms in a way that would suit our partners.

We also see good opportunities to expand cooperation with our regional partners in such areas as the aerospace sector, natural disaster prevention and relief (using the regional Russian-Cuban fire rescue centre located in Havana) and the establishment of a regional antimicrobial monitoring system (involving Mechnikov SA, the Russia-Nicaragua Biotechnology Institute Project), which are priorities for CELAC.


To be continued...


24.02.2021 - Foreign Ministry statement on the EU’s new illegal restrictive measures against Russia

We are disappointed by the February 22 decision of the EU Foreign Affairs Council to impose new illegal, unilateral and unsubstantiated restrictive measures on Russian citizens. The European Union has missed an opportunity to rethink its policy of artificial linkages, sanctions and pressure in its relations with Russia, a policy that has proved to be completely ineffective over the past few years. Instead, guided by its bloc discipline and anti-Russia stereotypes, Brussels has instinctively pressed the ineffective sanctions button. Moreover, contrary to all logic, the EU first adopted a political decision, and plans to choose the candidates for the sanctions later on.

18.02.2021 - "Centenary of Russia-UK trade relations" conference

This year marks the centenary of the first Russian-British trade agreement. We are delighted to invite you to participate in the online-conference organized by the Embassy and Trade delegation of Russia in the UK on March 16, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. (UK time).

10.02.2021 - Vladimir Putin's greetings on Diplomatic Workers’ Day

Vladimir Putin sent a message of greetings to the current and former staff of the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation on the occasion of their professional day, Diplomatic Workers’ Day.

04.02.2021 - Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on the extension of the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms

On February 3, 2021 the MFA of Russia and the U.S. Embassy in Moscow exchanged diplomatic notes regarding the completion of internal procedures required for the entry into force of the Agreement to extend the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms of April 8, 2010 (New START). Accordingly, this Agreement entered into force on the same day. Thus the Treaty will remain in effect exactly as it had been signed, without any amendments or additions, until February 5, 2026. The telephone conversation between the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the U.S. President Joseph Biden on January 26, 2021 became key for this development to proceed.

28.01.2021 - Statement by the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation on actions of American internet monopolies

We support the Statement by the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation in connection with the violation of the principle of freedom of speech by global American Internet companies. The restrictive actions taken by the administration of American social media giants with regard to the content posted on their platforms have delivered a blow to the democratic system of values and the international information architecture.

27.01.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks at the UN Security Council Open Debate on the Middle East settlement held in videoconference format, Moscow, January 26, 2021

Mr Minister, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to our Tunisian friends for convening today's meeting in a timely fashion. Clearly, a candid exchange of views on the Middle East settlement (MES) in the Security Council is long overdue. It is necessary to review the previous stage, to identify the reasons for the continuing deadlock in the MES, and to outline the key areas of joint work for the future.

21.01.2021 - Press release on the future of New START

When it comes to arms control, the previous US administration worked consistently and systematically to destroy the agreements which prevented Washington from arbitrarily building up, projecting and using military force and which it saw as an obstacle on its way to “victory” in the “great power rivalry” it itself declared.

19.01.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks and answers to media questions at a news conference on the results of Russian diplomacy in 2020, Moscow, January 18, 2021

This is our traditional news conference on the foreign policy outcomes of 2020. It is traditional, but remote. We opted for a format that was widely used over the past year due to the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions imposed in almost all countries, including Russia.

15.01.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions during a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Moscow, January 14, 2021

Ladies and gentlemen, We had substantive and meaningful talks. We discussed the further development of the friendly and trustworthy relations between our countries in accordance with the agreements reached during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Riyadh in the autumn of 2019, and subsequent telephone conversations at top level.

01.01.2021 - President Vladimir Putin's New Year Address to the Nation

Citizens of Russia, friends, The year 2020 will be over in just a few minutes. As we were welcoming it a year ago today, just like people around the world, we thought and dreamed of changes for the better. No one could have imagined back then what kind of trials would come our way. Now, it appears that the outgoing year has taken in the burden of many years. It was a difficult year for all of us, with worries and serious financial difficulties, bitter experiences and, for some, loss of the loved ones.

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